We paid a visit to the Oireachtas last week with a swimming delegation from Tramore, where we were hosted by Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan, who proved a great host.
We sat in on a Social Welfare debate in the Seanad, where Senator Alice-Mary Higgins (the President’s daughter) spoke, as did Social Welfare Minister Regina Doherty.
In the Dáil at the same time, there was a heated debate on the Pesco defence proposals that were debated, which was passed despite vocal opposition from TDs Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF), Mick Wallace and Clare Daly (Ind) and Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP).
The left feels this will lead to a major rise in defence spending for Ireland and a move towards an European Army, a call the Government rejected.
Senator O’Sullivan suggested that Irish support for Pesco could be a payback for further Brexit support.
On the way we met Deputy David Cullinane (SF), Minister of State John Halligan (IA), Senator Frances Black (Ind) and Sinn Féin leader in waiting Mary Lou McDonald, who recalled holidays in Tramore with her Tipperary-born mother. “Tiocfaidh an Trá,” she joked!
We also met Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan and also met with Senator O’Sullivan’s assistant, former Tramore librarian Jean Webster.
Minister of State Damien English (FG) also welcomed us and spoke well of Senator O’Sullivan, who seems to have connected well across the parties.